Chief Executive Li Ka-chung expressed his delight at attending the “Convergence of Finance, Innovating the Future” seminar and the Hong Kong Economic Times Business Awards ceremony hosted by the Hong Kong Economic Times. Addressing esteemed guests and friends, Li Ka-chung emphasized Hong Kong’s potential in leveraging its strengths as an international financial center and driving the development of cutting-edge technologies, particularly in the realm of Web3.0.
Renowned for its status as one of the world’s freest economies and the largest offshore RMB hub, Hong Kong boasts a highly open and international market, aligned regulatory frameworks, a robust legal system, and a pool of talented professionals. As a city under the “One Country, Two Systems” framework, Hong Kong enjoys the unique advantage of bridging global and Chinese advantages, acting as a two-way gateway connecting the nation and the world’s financial markets.
The current administration has made significant efforts to consolidate Hong Kong’s position as an international financial center. Notably, in the past two months, the “Bond Connect” Northbound trading link was officially launched in mid-May. Additionally, the Ministry of Finance issued the first tranche of RMB 12 billion government bonds in Hong Kong this month, with a total of RMB 30 billion to be issued throughout the year. Furthermore, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange introduced the “HKD-RMB Dual Counter Model” and dual counterparty mechanism in the local securities market.
Hong Kong has established itself as a leader in financial services and offshore RMB business. Moreover, it has emerged as Asia’s green finance hub, with the issuance of green and sustainable bonds reaching a record high of USD 80.5 billion last year, representing a growth of over 40% compared to the previous year. Hong Kong’s share in the Asian market for such bonds exceeded one-third, positioning it as the leading city in Asia. In February of this year, the government issued the world’s first government-backed tokenized green bond, contributing to the sustainable and responsible development of the virtual asset industry while embracing Web3.0-related financial innovations.
The government’s embrace of financial innovation showcases its determination to develop Hong Kong as an international innovation and technology center under the national “14th Five-Year Plan.” The government unveiled the “Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Development Blueprint” at the end of last year, introducing several policy measures aligned with four major development directions.
Notably, Hong Kong’s commitment to nurturing an innovative and technological ecosystem has received global recognition. According to the “2023 Global Startup Ecosystem Report,” Hong Kong ranked second among the top “Emerging Ecosystems” globally and first in Asia. This ranking affirms Hong Kong’s determination to develop a thriving startup ecosystem and demonstrates its readiness to compete globally and become an international innovation and technology hub.
To enhance the city’s innovation and technology ecosystem, the government has allocated HKD 10 billion to establish the “Industry-University-Research Collaboration Program” aimed at accelerating the commercialization of outstanding research achievements in Hong Kong. Efforts are also underway to establish a microelectronics research institute and an artificial intelligence supercomputing center, providing comprehensive support to local scientific research